Things I Like Right Now 9-12-2015

I posted one of these a couple of weeks back. I thought mention some other things I like right now.

  1. I’ve been training to failure in the gym again. It’s been a nice time saving technique and a change of pace. The decreased weight from the insanely long sets (aiming for 10 reps two seconds up and four seconds down). To time my reps, I use a boxing timer app on my phone. It allows me to gauge whether or not my ten or more reps have been timed well. I may try a metronome app next. Anyhow, I’ll train like this for a few more weeks with some jogging every once in a while in order to prepare my body for a camping trip we take for work next month. Training to failure takes advantage of several modes of muscle growth stimulation: heavy weight (eventually), occlusion, and effort. It takes advantage of volume as well, but it a way that few expect. Volume is a major stimulus for muscle growth, but in this form of training you’re only doing one set. But if I did 3 sets of 5 and each rep took 2 seconds, that’s still only 30 seconds of actual weight lifting. The difference in single set training is that while the volume is often higher, the extended sets can force the weight to be lower.
    After the camping trip I’ll keep this training style up for a while, but switch up some exercises. I’ll probably start aiming for heavy triples on dead lift one day a week as well. Here’s my routine

    1. Pulldowns
    2. Dips
    3. Dumbbell Pullovers
    4. Dumbbell Bench Press
    5. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    6. Back Extensions
    7. Leg Curls (I try for a set of 30 on these…it’s pretty terrible)
    8. Dead Lift (try for a set of 12)
    9. Bicep Curls
    10. Posture Shrugs
  2. I use the Sleep Cycle app on my phone to try to gauge my sleep quality. It’s either a very effective tool or a placebo and therefore a very effective tool. I highly recommend you get it, or if you have a Fit Bit of some sort, try using a sleep tracker app.
  3. Cal Newport’s book How to Win at College is pretty amazing. He’s a computer scientist from MIT who writes a great deal of helpful advice for young people. I read it so that I could give my students tips for success. His blog is super useful.
  4. Posture exercises. I’ve been trying several times a day to stretch into a better posture and to walk with better posture throughout the day. There appears to be a reciprocal relationship between our attitude and our posture. Being in a bad mood can lead us to carry ourselves like we’re retreating from the world, but conversely, carrying yourself like you’re in a good and engaging mood ends up putting you in that mood. Try it out.
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